Weight loss | October 5, 2016 | Author: Naturopath
Have you been unsuccessful in weight loss before? Tried every diet under the sun, only for the weight to be put back on plus more? Here we explain simple and realistic weight loss tips for long-term success while outlining some statistics relating to how widespread the obesity problem really is.
According to information gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Health Survey in 2011-12, 2 in 3 Australian adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight and obese. These statistics were calculated using a person’s height and weight to determine their body mass index. Other statistics reveal that this rate is on the rise, as 10% more adults are obese or overweight than in 1995. After dietary risks, high body mass index is the second highest risk factor to burden of disease. Along with smoking, these three risk factors increase your risk of many conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes.
Although there can be many factors involved the simple answer is there is an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure.
For overweight and obesity there is usually too high an intake of energy from the foods consumed than what is being used during physical activity and bodily functions.
Studies show that we can be more genetically predisposed to being overweight, which is unfortunately something that we can’t control.
Other contributing factors can be stress, hormone imbalances, underactive thyroid, inflammation and toxicity.
The most important changes that need to be made are through the diet. A typical western diet is often so processed and refined that during this process nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals are lost. It is also often low in phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plants) whilst high in sugar, grains, saturated fats and salt. A diet with high glycaemic index foods cause high amounts of sugars to enter the bloodstream affecting our hormones, mood, appetite and most importantly leads to an increase in fat storage.
Permanent weight loss requires a lifetime commitment to a healthier diet and lifestyle. It doesn’t involve fad diets, skipping meals or counting calories but instead eating wholesome foods that are close to nature in smaller portions.
Protein is an important macronutrient for weight loss but this doesn’t mean you get to eat meat with every meal. There are many other sources of protein and these include legumes, soy, nuts and seeds, eggs and dairy products (cheese, yoghurt and milk). Protein sources that are high in omega 3 such as fish, linseeds and chia seeds are also beneficial for weight loss as they stimulate fat burning, reduce cholesterol and inflammation and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Carbohydrates from grains should be reduced in the diet and should be wholemeal & unprocessed.
Vegetables should be incorporated into every meal. They are low in calories & high in essential plant based nutrients and fibre. Try using raw in salads or lightly steaming to preserve the nutrients.
Aim for 2 serves of fruit and 7-8 serves of vegetables per day.
Fats from processed foods should be avoided as they can often contain trans fats. The heart foundation has found that an increase in intake of these hydrogenated oils is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. Healthy fats from coconut oil, nuts and seeds, fresh fish and good quality meats should make up no more than 10% of the diet.
Below is an example of healthy meal options, snacks and beverages.
One egg omelette with olive oil, baby spinach, leek and pine nuts, or
Organic rolled oats with almond milk, berries and chia seeds, or
Green smoothie with a protein powder, coconut water, celery, mango, mint and cucumber.
Mixed salad leaves, beetroot, chicken breast, sunflower seeds and a home-made vinaigrette, or
Roast vegetable frittata with a garden salad, or
Steamed fish with ginger, coconut, turmeric and vegetables.
Lentil and ricotta burgers on a wholemeal bun with rocket, or
Tofu vegetable stir-fry with Asian greens, or
Chicken vegetable curry with brown rice.
Drinks: green tea, herbal tea, 2L filtered water, one coffee (preferably in the morning) Snacks: raw almonds, homemade oatmeal cookies, fruit, hummus with raw vegetables
Research shows that regular physical activity will increase your chances of maintaining weight loss long-term. Aim for 30 minutes a day and increase if needed. Do an activity that you enjoy whether it be a team sport, joining a gym, walking, swimming or riding a bike. Just make sure you work up a sweat! Other benefits of exercise include a reduction in blood pressure, depression, anxiety, arthritic pain & a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, several forms of cancer and osteoporosis.
Depending on the individual there can be a number of supplements that people may find useful to help achieve their weight loss goal.
These shakes are designed to replace a meal in order to reduce total daily energy intake. They may be suitable for people who need to lose weight fast in preparation for a surgery, those that are time poor or would benefit from a program to follow.
These powders can either be whey or plant based and help to reduce appetite and cravings while maintaining healthy muscle and growth. They can either be used in between meals or after a workout.
The rind of this fruit is naturally high in hydroxycitric acid which is proving to be a very effective supplement for weight loss. It helps to supress hunger and reduce body fat by regulating the serotonin levels related to satiety. Research also reveals that not only does it have anti-obesity properties but also reduces blood lipids, balances blood sugars, protects the liver and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties.
A review of two studies found that chromium picolinate plays a role in the regulation of our food intake. It was also found that chromium, when compared to placebo, reduced food intake, fat cravings and tended to decrease body weight.
Scientific research has shown that this humble spice is very beneficial in normalising blood sugars and insulin levels. This in turn helps to reduce cravings for foods containing sugars and carbohydrates.
A review of 3 studies found that this extract made people lose 5.4 more kilograms than placebo. Green coffee bean contains two substances, caffeine & chlorogenic acid, which help to increase fat burning and slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
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Semwal RB et al. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. Fitoterapia. 2015 Apr;102:134-48
Anton SD, et al. Effects of chromium picolinate on food intake and satiety. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2008 Oct;10(5):405-12
Akilen R, et al. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;31(5):609-15
Onakpoya I et al. The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011